Giving Advice is Good for the Giver
Research on resilience —our ability to bounce back from adversity — has shown that giving support to others has a significant impact on our well-being. Our bodies and minds benefit in a variety of ways when we help others, sometimes even generating a “helper’s high”.
In fact, the act of giving advice has been shown to be even more beneficial than receiving it. In a series of studies of 2,274 people, researchers found that after middle-school students gave younger students help with studying, they ended up spending more time on their own homework. Overweight people who counseled others on weight loss were more motivated to lose weight themselves.
In a New York Times article, Wharton organizational psychologist Adam Grant explained that we often are better at giving advice to people other than ourselves. “One of the best things you can do is call someone else facing a similar problem and talk them through it,” he said. Grant, who co-founded an online networking platform call Givitas, which connects people asking for or offering support and advice, added, “When you talk other people through their problems, you come up with wiser perspectives and solutions for yourself.”
When was the last time you gave advice, and how did it make you feel? Did it benefit you, or the receiver, or both? To join the conversation, click "comments" just above this article, under the photo. We'd love to hear your thoughts!
12/14/2021 10:14:23 am
I think the advice to give advice should be taken with a grain of salt. Often advice comes in the form of telling people what to do, or sharing what you did in a similar-seeming situation (which may or may not be relevant). The problem with this is that every person and every situation is different. I don’t think you can ever go wrong with listening to a person when they are working through a problem, and asking questions that help them uncover their own feelings and thinking about the issue, but speaking about your experience or offering advice can backfire. I think it’s important to ask a person if they are open to hearing your thoughts or advice before you offer them. Otherwise, you risk the possibility of YOU feeling good, but the other person may feel unheard, diminished or frustrated. “Help” is only help if it is received as helpful.
12/16/2021 05:22:19 am
So well said Rachel. When we chose to include this as a Communication Capsule we were torn: Yes advice giving appears to be good for the giver. But if it’s not baked into what the other person is feeling and experiencing you are right: the other person may feel unheard, diminished or frustrated.
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